Technology does not stop evolving and, although the concept that we are going to see today has been used for quite some time, the truth is that it is a point to be developed, with much to offer and that we can squeeze in a multitude of areas of our life: body area networks.
You sure know WLANs, right? Maybe WMANs too, but Do you know what WBANs are? Don’t worry, it’s the usual thing. These are not the main topic of conversation in the bakery and, in fact, their incipient development means that they are not either even in the contexts in which computing and technology make an appearance.
Of course, if you are curious you have to know that you have come to the right place because, in effect, We will be the ones who will tell you what a body area network is, what it is for and how it is formed.
What is a Body Area Network and what is it for in computing?
The body area network, called BAN by its name in English Body Area Network, is a type of network that the small size and low power devices that we use in our body use to communicate. Thus, we deduce that they are those with less scope.
The devices that use this are headphones, viewers, microphones, smart watches, smartphones, glasses, nanobots, telematics bracelets … They also use the BAN those that are implanted and used for medical purposes such as hearing aids, valves or pacemakers.
Uniting several of these forms a system that allows information to pass from one to another and also to external platforms that can also be consulted outside the system. Storage needs to be remote to keep devices small and lightweight.
As you can imagine, this type of network is something quite current. In fact, it is something that is still developing timidly and has a long way to go.
Although we can see it in different sectors. In addition to the toilet, which is the main one and the one that could benefit the most, let’s enjoy it in consumer electronics, in entertainment, in the work environment, in sports, in improving person-person or person-machine communication and beyond.
At the moment, you are they use standards that we already know such as WiFi or Bluetooth, but the ideal is that can be interconnected with other types of networks like WLANs, WPANs.
Components of a BAN network What does it take to create one?
As we say, the body area network requires a system of elements. However, these vary in each case. The only essential element is the one capable of managing the information it receives from any of the others, that is, one that acts as a central platform. We also see that there must be a communicative standard.
Depending on the type of functionalities to be enjoyed, obviously, the devices and their possibilities will be diverse, but that is something that already goes hand in hand, as we say, with what we want to achieve.
Let’s take an example: A runner wears a smartwatch that measures his heart rate and other biometric parameters. When it considers, it tells you where the nearest source is. This will require a biometric sensor, a GPS, a database that indicates which parameters are “normal”, a query action to this …
On the other hand, we can see the case of the bracelets worn by people who have been released from prison. They beep when the user exceeds a distance X from a point and a warning is given.
The bracelet will need to be geolocated, a proximity sensor, an element capable of sending a signal, a device that receives the alert of a perimeter exceeded, a sound element that is activated when said signal is sent or when you are close to passing the stipulated distance, etc.
Indeed, some systems are totally different from others, and thus we could continue dismembering each one of them. What we want you to understand is that the elements that make up body area networks differ as much as their objectives.
So, we stay with:
- An element or platform that manages the information.
- A communicative standard.
- Elements or devices with the capabilities we want to achieve.
What type of computer networks exist?
Finally, we would like you to get an idea of what assume the BANs comparing them with the other types of networks that exist:
- WAN networks or wide area networks. Its coverage is practically global, of thousands of kilometers. With a few we provide connection to the entire planet. They use Cellullar Digital Packet Data technology, which allows data transmission by mobile phone.
The protocol par excellence for this type of connection is the famous WAP, a standard that does not limit the devices, being indifferent aspects such as, for example, their operating systems. We also use satellite communication to access areas where communication is most difficult by other means.
- MAN networks or metropolitan area networks. Their range is hundreds of kilometers, which means that they are chosen by the operators to cover areas of coverage of their Internet connection services.
They work with the standard WiMAX, whose transmission speed is 75 Mpbs with frequencies that can reach 66 GHz, which means that an effective multipoint architecture design can be given.
- LAN networks or local area networks. Of lesser rank, they are of great interest because the bands they use are not licensed, which means that anyone can use them assuming a minimal investment to do so.
Are those used by ordinary users to connect to the network, both by cable and by connecting wirelessly (in this case they would be WLAN). We do connecting to a coverage point keeping us at a distance from him while he interconnects with others (including servers, antennas and other devices) distributed throughout the area covered.
- PAN networks or personal area networks. Still in development like the ones we are dealing with today, PAN networks are born for which user and network come closer and are part of the same system, seeking the integration of services close to this and, therefore, automation, as far as possible and of the environment.
To do this, the devices that the user uses can communicate with each other (laptop, smartphone, digital camera, PDA, surveillance systems.
We would talk about a system that gravitates about 10 meters around the user and that they work without your body being part of the process communicative.
- BAN networks or personal area networks. They would be those that cover the least area or space, that is, those that work at shorter range. We have already seen that the system consists of devices that go on the body of the user so the range of action is minimal, of a few meters at most (except for sending information, which would be done by combining with other types of networks) and always considering the body of the person as a transmission element of information.
Regarding the types of local area networks, we have the WBAN and the WLAN. The difference between the two is that the latter would be wirelessHence its name, “Wireless Body Area Network”.
So, one would use wiring to be functional, as with local area networks, when we connect our computer to the router via Ethernet cable. The other, as we say, would work without cables, making use of a wireless standard. Obviously, this last option is the one that makes sense in body-reaching systems.
Finally, indicate that we can also consider the existence of other types of networks, although these would be more specific like VLANs, CANs and so on. We can treat them all in another post in which we would see, one by one and in detail, all the existing ones.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉